Jan 9, 2018 - Technology

Snapchat data: Discover and Maps performance lagging

The Snapchat image messaging and multidmedia application is seen on an iPhone in this photo illustration on December 5, 2017. (Photo by Jaap Arriens/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

The Snapchat app. Photo: Jaap Arriens / NurPhoto via Getty Images

The Daily Beast's Taylor Lorenz got her hands on five months of confidential data from Snapchat, despite the company's secretive culture. Her analysis of daily active users revealed that Snapchat's Discover and Maps aren't doing as well as the company's other features, and have yet to gain widespread adoption among the app's user base.

Our thought bubble: Snapchat's format and offerings are still relatively new and evolving, so it will take some time before widespread adoption — if that ever happens. The platform will have to seriously innovate and invest (hence their plans for a large-scale redesign) if they want those numbers to go up, but they know that, which is why stories like these probably don't spook them.

By the numbers, as detailed in the Daily Beast:

  • Daily active users (DAUs): 178 million.
  • Snap Maps, which launched in June 2017: An average of 19 million users (11% of the app's total user base) checked Snap Maps daily during the month of Sept. Lorenz describes the numbers as "relatively weak," though they seem normal for such a new feature.
  • Discover: An average of 20% of Snapchat users consumed content from a Discover Edition daily. Lorenz says consumption peaked on July 24, 2017, at 38 million DAUs, or roughly 21% of the broader user base.
  • Personal snaps vs. stories: In August, users were 64% more likely to send a snap to a friend than post to Stories. They also sent an average of 34 chat messages per day.
  • Snap's stock price has declined from a high of $27.09 shortly after going public to $13.92 per share on Jan. 8.

Key takeaways:

  • Based on the numbers, users see Snapchat as more of a traditional chat app than they do a tool for meeting up with friends, writes Lorenz.
  • The app's strength is in personal communication, as seen through the large volume of photos, videos and text sent per day.
  • Concerns with rollout of the app's new design: That Discover and Maps usage will decline sharply and "crater Snapchat's ad revenue," Lorenz writes.
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